Holiday weekend cookouts and reunions are an inevitable part of life. Let's face it, you can't live in a bubble!
But you may be wondering, "how can I be social and engage with family and friends AND avoid ruining my diet?" I'm glad you asked!
Coach Tam's Top 10 Cookout and Reunion Survival Tips:
1. Bring a “sippy cup”. Show up to the cookout with a 32-oz. water bottle to sip on throughout the gathering. It will help you feel full and keep you hydrated.
2. Think before you drink. When you fix your plate, continue to sip on the water and skip the sweet tea, soda, etc. You'll save 150-400 calories per cup just by making this swap.
3. Use a salad plate. This will force you to make trade off decisions. “I only have room for 3 or 4 things on my plate…do I really want that?”
4. Have only a spoonful of potato salad or macaroni salad. Mayonnaise-based salads are high in fat and calories.
5. Skip the chips. Forego munchies like chips, pretzels, crackers, and any dips that may accompany them. Instead grill corn, peppers, zucchini, squash, asparagus, peppers to get a good dose of healthy carbs. If they are not on the menu, offer to bring them!
6. Go lean. Lean protein - fish, shrimp, chicken breast, turkey burgers, and/or 90% lean ground hamburgers - when seasoned well, taste good and are very filling.
7. Dress it up. Rather than leave your protein naked, pile on lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, salsa, relish. If you are a cheese lover, use a half of a slice of low fat cheese.
8. Eat your Wheaties. Skipping meals only hurts us in the long run, either by slowing our metabolism or leading you to overeat. Eat a healthy breakfast/snack before the cookout so that you aren't starving when you get there!
9. Practice portion control. Try to limit lean meats to the size of the palm of your hand and fill the rest of your plate with healthy veggies.
10. Enjoy fruit for dessert. Berries and watermelon make great summertime treats. If the dessert table is too enticing to resist, choose ONE item, take the smallest piece, walk away and savor every bite!
Remember, you cannot always control the temptations that will arise, but you can always choose how you will handle them.
Enjoy your time with family and friends!
Until next time,
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!